Liquid Love was recorded in the winter of 1999 in Berkeley, CA at Bay Records Recording Studios. I had the pleasure of playing with young pianist Taylor Eigsti, then 14 yrs old, on a three night gig in Palo Alto. By the end of the second evening, I was totally convinced that I had to bring Taylor into the studio and record an album. This is that effort. It is also the first recording of Taylor Eigsti.
The band therefore includes, Taylor Eigsti on piano, Rick Vandivier, guitar, John Shifflett, bass, Jason Lewis, drums and Josh Jones, on percussion. Perhaps one of the best kept secrets in the Bay Area Jazz Scene is Nika Rejto, flutist extraordinaire. She is living proof that good things come in small packages, yet despite her pixie-like demeanor, this lady can swing with the best. Dr. Herb Wong says, "Anyone hearing Nika is simply knocked out by her remarkably gorgeous tone - something from the angels." Jack Bowers of Jazz Now compares her to "Old hands Frank Wess, Herbie Mann, James Moody." The late Bob Tate writes “Nika’s improvisation was beautiful, imaginative, swinging, anything but predictable.”. Check out Nika's performances at Yoshi’s Jazz Club, Jack London Sq. on August 28, 2006 celebrating her CD, Teazing Socrates. Nika toots infectious, energetic jazz with classical and Middle Eastern undercurrents. Her stellar band includes John Santos, Rick Vandivier, Perry Thoorsell, Paul Van Waginengen, Dan Zemelman and Vicki Burns. Two shows: 8 and 10.
Nika Rejto, acclaimed as one of the nation's finest jazz flutists, has graced the stage and stunned audiences with her "rich tone and technique that never descends into gimmickry" for the last 30 years (Leonard Feather). As a soloist, she has performed with many jazz greats, including Red Holloway, Hubert Laws, Lanny Morgan, Frank Wess, Jeremy Steig, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Benny Carter, Airto and Flora Purim, George Cables, Billy Higgins, Buddy Collette, and Horace Silver, to name a few. Downbeat Magazine wrote "... her solo brought the house down!" [referring to her guest appearance with Hubert Laws at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles.] Besides leading her own jazz band as both flutist and vocalist, she also performs with various orchestras and ensemble groups.
Nika Rejto released her first album, Naked Emotions, on her own label, Unika Records, showcasing her multi-faceted talents as composer, arranger, and producer. Leonard Feather’s liner notes set in motion her climb up the ladder as one of the best flutists to hit the scene. "Rejto's flute is rich in long, affirmative phrases decorated by all manners of trills, tremolos, growls and other effects that never descend into gimmickry...Rejto, who was once introduced as a guest soloist with Hubert Laws at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, sounded like a good bet for records with this diversified display of her well honed talents."
In 1998, Bridge Weaver, produced by Herb Wong, firmly established Nika on the jazz scene. Jack Bowers of JAZZ NOW wrote, “...there are only a handful of working flutists with whom to compare her - old hands Frank Wess, Herbie Mann, James Moody...” Herb Wong states, “Anyone hearing Nika is simply knocked out by her remarkably gorgeous tone - something from the angels.” Robert Tate of JAZZ NOW reviewed Nika’s performance with Red Holloway at Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, and had this to say about her; “Nika’s improvisation was beautiful, imaginative, swinging . . . anything but predictable; but what we were really hearing out in the seats was how much she meant every note of it. We got personally involved in her effort; it was as though we were making the journey with her, note by note.” In the summer of 1999, Nika once again produced and released her 3rd recording, Liquid Love, this time featuring 14 year old pianist, Taylor Eigsti.
Midnite Kiss, (May, 2002) once again features her fine flute work coupled with eight of her own compositions. JAZZ USA says, “This is another one of those GEMS that pops up in the review pile every so often. This is a keeper.” Jazz Now writes, “If you don’t MELT to this one you need to kick-start your soul.”
Nika resides in Lafayette, CA. On May 29, 2000 her band, Ode To Jazz, debuted at Yoshi’s Supper Club in Jack London Square, Oakland, as a Jazz In Flight presentation. Nika’s August 12, 2001 Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society gig was videotaped for Cable TV. In August of 2002, Nika performed at the Vallejo Jazz Festival, honoring women in jazz. August 9, 2003, Hubert Laws asked Nika to perform the musical tribute for at his Lifetime Achievement Award. On Dec. 1, 2003, Nika again performed at Yoshi’s. Best of all, Nika’s newest CD, Teazing Socrates is here. Reese Erlich of NPR Jazz writes, “Rejto’s flute tone goes straight to your soul. She’s one of our great contemporary flutists.” Buddy Collette writes, “great tunes, tasty arrangements, superb flute playing.” And, George Carroll of ejazznews.com writes,“So, as I listened to the immense musical soul of Nika Rejto, I proclaim that her flute playing, as well as her project, to be a study of finely woven melodic contrapuntal lines executed with great grace, clarity & elegance ...her talent is a true breath of fresh air.”